Monday, May 28, 2012

Fla. Woman May Be World's Only Carillon Librarian

Earlier this semester, I had come to the point in library school where I was nearing completion of the core courses and had to choose a specific area of study. After much thought and discussion, I decided to focus on special librarianship. With a special libraries degree, I figure I could work in the library division of any business or institution, no matter how big or small, famous or obscure, corporate or quirky. Despite savoring the notion that I could be any kind of librarian with this degree, I never knew that carillon librarian was even an option.

Joy Banks, a carillon librarian, stands amid artifacts at the Bok Tower gardens in Lake Wales, Florida. (Photo Credit: George Aycrigg/
Joy Banks, of Lakeland, Florida, may be the world's only carillon librarian. Her job involves chronicling and cataloging the largest known collection of carillon music, which is housed in the Bok Tower in Lake Wales, Florida. (For those who don't know - and to be honest, I had to look it up - a carillon is an instrument, typically housed in the bell tower of a church or other municipal building, which consists of at least twenty-three cast-bronze, cup-shaped bells that are played by striking a keyboard, according to Wikipedia.) It all sounds quite grand, and I can't imagine what it's like to be in charge of such a singular collection.

So how did she find out about the job? "I saw the listing online," she told "And when I read the qualifications, I knew I could do it. It called for someone with cataloging experience, foreign language - mine is French, and music." Since starting this unique library position in November 2010, Banks has "experienced a lot of surprises. I've come across original manuscripts and a mechanical player system and dozens and dozens of parchment reels. I am still trying to find out the history of it."

To find out more about what the job of a carillon librarian is like, check out this LINK.


  1. It's a few months later, but I just stumbled on your blog post. Thanks for the shout out. I really do love my job. While the article you cited made up a few quotes, if you are interested in special libraries, SLA is the association for you. As a student, it really opened my eyes to the unlimited options available to someone with a LS degree. Good luck with your studies!

    1. You're so welcome! I find what you do incredibly fascinating - it's no wonder you love your job! And thank you for your advice regarding SLA. I just joined as a student member. I'm thrilled to be affiliated with such a spectacular organization, and I'm excited about studying to become a librarian. Thanks for checking out my blog!